Gulf spill harmed small fish, studies indicate

Effects vary but dire impacts seen with some very low exposures

By Janet Raloff, 10:20 AM November 19, 2012

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Two years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon well blowout, laboratory studies are finally offering clues to the spilled oil’s impact on sea life. Brief, very low exposures to oil were capable of killing many fish embryos and hatchlings, new studies show. Those that survived often exhibited major deformities that would diminish an animal’s fitness.

Affected species ranged from the young of large open-ocean denizens, such as tuna, to minnow-sized coastal homebodies — the tiny f...

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